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Preview: Treviso v Connacht

02nd September 2011 08:26

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SKY_MOBILE Henry Faafili Leeds Carnegie

At the centre: Henry Fa'afili

Connacht have named the starting XV that will take on Benetton Treviso in the opening round of their RaboDirect PRO12 season in Italy this Saturday.

Gavin Duffy will lead the side out, having been unveiled as Connacht's new captain earlier this week. He is supported on the wings by former Ulster player Mark McCrea and Ireland U20 international Tiernan O'Halloran while the dynamic centre partnership of Henry Fa'aili and Eoin Griffin complete the backline.

Scrum-half Frank Murphy and former Ospreys fly-half Matthew Jarvis renew their half-back pairing following a fine display against Saracens.

Connacht have four players in the pack with more than 100 caps. Flavin, McCarthy and Muldoon have all reached the milestone while Michael Swift is just short of his 200th cap for the province. Ronan Loughney and Ray Ofisa, with 80 and 89 caps respectively, provide plenty more experience with George Naoupu and Rodney Ah You completing the firepower of the forwards.

Last year Connacht and Treviso shared one narrow win each against each other.

Meanwhile, Franco Smith announced many debutants will be on the pitch on Saturday, replacing a dozen players heading to the World Cup in New Zealand.

In the front-row, Augusto Allori is playing tighthead, Michele Rizzo is playing loosehead prop, and Franco Sbaraglini is playing hooker.

Antonio Pavanello and Valerio Bernaḅ are the two locks, while the back row will be Marco Filippucci, Francesco Minto and Manoa Vosawai.

Alberto Chillon is playing scrum-half with Willem De Waal at fly-half.

In the back three, Ludovico Nitoglia is playing full-back and Michele Sepe and Brendan Williams are playing as wingers. The big change is at centre where Andrea Pratichetti and Kristopher Burton play, supporting pivot De Waal.

Form: Each side won its respective home game when Treviso and Connacht met last season, their first two meetings in any competition. Benetton Treviso won two of their last three matches last season, and are looking for a third successive home victory in this RadoDirect PRO12 fixture. Treviso beat three of the four Irish Provinces at home last season (Ulster being the exception). Connacht have won their opening encounter in eight of the past ten seasons. The Irishmen ended their last campaign with three successive defeats but still recorded their best finish since season 2003/04 (9th). Connacht's last seven encounters with Italian opponents in all competitions have all been won by the home side on the day.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 Ludovico Nitoglia, 14 Michele Sepe, 13 Kristopher Burton, 12 Andrea Pratichetti, 11 Brendan Williams, 10 Willem De Waal, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Manoa Vosawai, 7 Francesco Minto, 6 Marco Filippucci, 5 Valerio Bernaḅ, 4 Antonio Pavanello (capt), 3 Augusto Allori, 2 Franco Sbaraglini, 1 Michele Rizzo.
Replacements: 16 Diego Vidal, 17 Matteo Muccignat, 18 Pedro Di Santo, 19 Gonzalo Padṛ, 20 Benjamin Vermaak, 21 Simon Picone, 22 Alberto Di Bernardo, 23 Benjamin De Jager.

Connacht 15 Gavin Duffy (capt), 14 Mark McCrea, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Henry Fa'afili, 11 Tiernan O'Halloran, 10 Matthew Jarvis, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Ray Ofisa, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Ronan Loughney.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Dylan Rogers, 19 TJ Anderson, 20 Johnny O'Connor, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Nial O'Connor, 23 Brian Tuohy.

Date: Saturday, September 3
Venue: Stadio di Monigo
Kick-off: 15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Dudley Phillips
Assistant Referees: Stefano Marrama, Stefano Roscini

  • Treviso Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
Saturday , December 6
Benetton Treviso vs Northampton13:00
Saturday , December 13
Northampton vs Benetton TrevisoTBC
Saturday , January 17
Racing Metro 92 vs Benetton TrevisoTBC
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Sunday , November 23
Benetton Treviso vs Leinster15:30
Friday , November 28
Cardiff Blues vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Friday , December 19
Edinburgh vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Saturday , December 27
Zebre vs Benetton Treviso16:00
Saturday , January 3
Benetton Treviso vs ZebreTBC
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
  • Treviso Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 10
Benetton Treviso 6 - 9 ConnachtBenetton Treviso vs Connacht Report
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso 23 - 40 Glasgow
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton Treviso
Saturday , September 20
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton Treviso
Friday , September 12
Benetton Treviso 10 - 21 Munster
Friday , September 5
Ospreys 44 - 13 Benetton Treviso
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Table
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ospreys15
2Racing Metro Paris14
3Northampton10
4Treviso10